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Mercedes-Benz Van Experience Attracts The Biggest Audience Yet

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MILTON KEYNES, UNITED KINGDOM – July 17, 2013: The Mercedes-Benz Van Experience, now in its 10th year, has achieved a record audience. Running consecutively for two weeks over 1800 customers took time out of their busy working environments to test and sample a wide selection of Mercedes-Benz vans, including the Citan, Vito and Sprinter.

Making its UK debut, just weeks after its international unveil was the New Sprinter, which could be seen in both Van and Chassis Cab formats. Bristling with a host of new environmental and safety features, including New Euro VI engines, Crosswind Assist, Collision Prevention Assist, Blindspot Assist and optionally available, High-beam Assist and Lane Keeping Assist, all firsts in a Van, the New Sprinter underlines why it continues to set benchmarks in terms of design, innovation and safety.

After its 2012 unveil and also marking its Van Experience first drive debut was the new Citan, the new small van from Mercedes-Benz. Joining the Vito and Sprinter, the Citan was put through its paces on the wet-grip skid pan area, the ESP lane change test and the two mile MPG marathon circuit. Achieving a staggering 99 mpg on a number of occasions, the Citan proved a big hit with customers and was heard to be the topic of many conversations when calculations focusing on running costs were discussed.

The Vito, a firm favourite and Van Experience veteran, could be seen and driven demonstrating its prowess on the circular skid pan and in-line wet grip test areas. Pushed to explore the limits and capabilities of Adaptive ESP, guests were assured that the advanced safety systems found on-board could help them retain control of the vehicle and stay heading in the right direction in the most challenging of circumstances.

Mark Lovett, Head of Commercial Vehicles at LeasePlan UK, attended the event and commented: “This is the fifth time that I’ve visited Van Experience and I find it incredibly useful and informative. The LeasePlan UK commercial vehicle team works very closely with Mercedes-Benz Vans and we were delighted this year, to have our own dedicated day.

“Being able to test a wide range of differing models, all within the closed confines of this fantastic venue, enables us to greater understand the vehicles and ultimately build a clearer picture of what we and our van clients are looking for. LeasePlan colleagues, suppliers, clients and prospects had a great day in Warwickshire putting all the Mercedes-Benz vans through their paces. As a direct result, we are promoting the Mercedes Benz range of vans to more of our clients who previously may not have considered the brand.”

With over 200 vehicles to choose from guests were encouraged to drive and test the safety and assistance features at a number of focus stations. One of the favourite activities was the off-road course which included driving a selection of factory built Sprinter 4x4’s and, for the first time seen in the UK, the Sprinter 6x6 all-wheel drive by Oberaigner.

Steve Bridge, Mercedes-Benz Vans Director Sales and Marketing, said: “Van Experience, now in its 10th year, continues to deliver business benefits to both us and our customers and over the fortnight we see a mix of people from a wide variety of business sectors. It’s always great to see our long term customers and welcome new customers too. Feedback, both during the event and after, is always gratefully received and much valued.

“We ensure the experience delivers our guests an informal, relaxed but focused day and we see a real eagerness and appetite to learn more about the products and what Mercedes-Benz vans can offer modern businesses.

“With 1800 customers attending, that’s an average of 200 a day, we’ve been busy! Our sign-on data shows us that for 80% of guests it’s their first Van Experience visit and with this comes the opportunity to have lots of interesting conversations with new faces.”

In addition to testing the latest vans from Mercedes-Benz guests could relax over lunch in the 11.000 m Experience Pavilion, take a ride on a smart e-bike, tour the 58-vehicle bodybuilder demonstration area, or even visit one of the more popular event vehicles, the Sprinter ice-cream van.

Each year the event content changes but the key messages remain the same: Mercedes-Benz Vans: efficient, economical, reliable and trustworthy.